NBA rumors: Spurs trying to throw wrench in Kings-Lakers trade?

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Report: Spurs throwing wrench in potential Kings-Lakers deal? originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

In the NBA, you never celebrate until a trade until the official press release hits your inbox.

After days of rumors surrounding the Kings potentially shipping Buddy Hield to the Los Angeles Lakers for a package including Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and the No. 22 overall pick, a different option might materialize. 

According to Marc Stein, the San Antonio Spurs are trying to get involved with the Lakers in a potential sign-and-trade involving DeMar DeRozan.

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This would be an extremely difficult trade to pull off for the Spurs. Due to the Lakers' current salary situation, a sign-and-trade deal would hard cap the team, which is something they will likely avoid at all costs.

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DeRozan is a four-time All-Star and a Compton, California native. At 31-years-old, he still has plenty of basketball left in him, but he lacks the one thing the Lakers need and Hield posses. DeRozan shot just 25.7 percent from 3-point range on 1.2 attempts per game last season. 

Hield is an elite volume 3-point shooter, finishing second in the NBA in both attempts (721) and makes (282) last season. Los Angeles was just 25th in the league in 3-point makes last season and they are looking for a true floor spacer.

The Kings might be the leaders in the clubhouse when it comes to a potential Kuzma trade, but a transaction is complicated between these two teams as well.

Harrell, who fits into the Kings’ salary structure and also fills a need, has a player option for the upcoming season at $9.7 million. If he opts into the final year of his deal, he can be traded. If he doesn’t, he becomes an unrestricted free agent and the Lakers would need to include a different player to make the cap numbers work.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is an option as a replacement, but he isn’t nearly as intriguing for the Kings. The 28-year-old is a solid veteran that would instantly add defensive toughness and shooting, but he’s owed $13 million this season and $14 million in 2022-23, although only $4.9 million is guaranteed in year two.

The $3.3 million difference between Harrel’s contract and Caldwell-Pope’s doesn’t seem like much in NBA standards and the trade still works under the CBA guidelines. But, the Kings are not in a position to add cap space if they hope to retain starting center Richaun Holmes.

RELATED: Lakers sweeten offer for Kings' Hield with pick

Could the Kings find a third team to take on Caldwell-Pope’s contract? That is possible. He is a rotational NBA player that can fit plenty of rosters. But the Kings are already in a salary pinch in their chase for Holmes. They need to clear out anywhere between $8 million and $12 million to make a competitive offer for their starting center. 

Even if the Kings and Lakers finalize a trade, it can’t be officially announced until Aug. 2 at the earliest. Kuzma has a “poison pill” provision in his contract that expires on the second and the Lakers can’t trade their draft pick until the selection is made due to the Stepien rule.

All of this should get worked out in the coming hours, especially if the No. 22 overall selection is part of the transaction. The Lakers can make their pick for the Kings and then finish the transaction once the new NBA calendar year starts on Monday. 

This is all still speculative. We have no indication that a trade is nearing the finish line between the Kings and Lakers, although the threat of the Spurs coming in at the last moment and upsetting a potential deal is minimal at best.